GM Lumina/Grand Prix/Cutlass Supreme/Regal 1988-1996

MacPherson Strut/Knuckle Assembly

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

Do NOT remove the strut cartridge nut without compressing the coil spring first. This procedure MUST be followed because it keeps the coil spring compressed. Use care to support the strut assembly adequately because the coil spring is under heavy load; if released too quickly, serious personal injury could result. Never remove the center strut nut unless the spring is compressed with a compressor tool J-26584 or equivalent.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the strut cover plate bolts.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the wheel nuts. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel assembly and tire assembly. Remove the brake caliper and bracket; hang the caliper aside using a suitable piece of wire. DO NOT hang the caliper by the brake lines.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake rotor. Remove the hub and bearing-to-knuckle attaching bolts.
  10.  
  11. If equipped with ABS, remove the sensor and position aside.
  12.  
  13. Remove the halfshaft, as outlined in Drive Train of this repair guide.
  14.  


CAUTION
Use ONLY the recommended tools for separating ball joints. Failure to use the proper tools may cause damage to the ball joint and seal.

  1. Unfasten the tie rod attaching nut, then separate the tie rod from the steering knuckle using tool J 35917, or equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the lower ball joint attaching nut, then, using tool J 35917 or equivalent, separate the lower ball joint from the lower control arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the ball joint heat shield retaining bolts and shield.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cover plate bolts/nuts, then remove the strut/knuckle assembly from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install the strut mount cover plate and upper strut mount-to-body attaching nuts. Do not tighten the nuts at this time; tighten the nuts after lowering the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint heat shield and retaining bolts. Tighten to 62 inch lbs. (7 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the lower ball joint.
  6.  
  7. For 1988-91 vehicles, tighten the new ball joint nut to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) plus at least an additional 90° ( 1 / 2 flats), plus enough to align the cotter pin hole. Do NOT overtighten!
  8.  
  9. For 1992-96 vehicles, tighten the lower ball joint nut to 63 ft. lbs. (85 Nm). Tighten to align the next slot in the nut with the cotter pin hole in the stud. Do NOT tighten more than 60º(1 flat) to align with the hole.
  10.  
  11. Install a new cotter pin, then bend the ends of the pin over to secure.
  12.  
  13. Install the tie rod to the knuckle, install the nut and tighten to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) for 1988-93 vehicles. For 1994-96 vehicles, tighten the nut to 63 ft. lbs. (85 Nm). Install a new cotter pin.
  14.  
  15. Carefully install the halfshaft through the opening in the knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Install the hub and bearing-to-knuckle attaching bolts. Tighten to 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm).
  18.  
  19. If equipped, properly position the ABS sensor and install the retaining bolt.
  20.  
  21. Install the brake rotor and caliper/bracket assembly, as outlined in Brakes of this repair guide.
  22.  
  23. Install the wheel and tire assembly, then tighten the wheel lug nuts hand-tight.
  24.  
  25. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  26.  
  27. Tighten the strut cover bolts/nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm) for 1988-94 vehicles. For 1995-96 vehicles tighten the cover bolts/nuts to 24 ft. lbs. (33 Nm).
  28.  
  29. Final-tighten the wheel lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  30.  
  31. Connect the negative battery cable.
  32.  

OVERHAUL



See Figures 1 and 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Cross-sectional view of the strut/knuckle assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: View of the strut/knuckle assembly mounted in the spring compressor



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Fig. Fig. 3: Front ball joint with heat shield


CAUTION
Do NOT remove the strut cartridge nut without compressing the coil spring first. This procedure MUST be followed because it keeps the coil spring compressed. Use care to support the strut assembly adequately because the coil spring is under heavy load; if released too quickly, serious personal injury could result. Never remove the center strut nut unless the spring is compressed with a compressor tool J-26584 or equivalent.

  1. Remove the MacPherson strut assembly as outlined in this information.
  2.  
  3. Mount the strut assembly in a strut compressing tool J-34013-A and J-34013-88. Compress the spring using the forcing screw. Release the spring tension enough to remove the spring insulator.
  4.  
  5. Using a Torx° bit and a strut shaft nut remover tool J-35669, remove the strut shaft nut. Make sure there is no spring tension on the shaft.
  6.  
  7. Release all spring tension and remove the coil spring and insulator. Remove any component needed to perform repair.
  8.  

To assemble:
  1. Inspect all components for wear and damage.
  2.  
  3. Install the spring seat and bearing.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower spring insulator. The lower spring coil end must be visible between the step and the first retention tab of the insulator.
  6.  
  7. Install the spring, dust shield, and jounce bumper.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper spring insulator. The upper spring coil end must be between the step and location mark on the insulator.
  10.  
  11. Install the jounce bumper retainer-to-strut mount using a jounce bumper spanner tool J-35670 or equivalent.
  12.  
  13. Align the strut cartridge shaft with a strut extension rod tool J-35668.
  14.  
  15. Install the strut mount and the upper strut mount bushing.
  16.  
  17. Compress the strut assembly using the strut spring compressor tool J-34013-A and J34014-88.
  18.  
  19. Install the shaft nut using the strut rod installer and Torx® bit. Tighten the shaft nut to 72 ft. lbs. (98 Nm) for 1988-94 vehicles. For 1995-96 vehicles, tighten the shaft nut to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Install the strut/knuckle assembly into the vehicle as outlined earlier in this information.
  22.  

 
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